Sunday, 16 July 2017

After yet another interest rate hike, the IMF releases the second tranche of Egypt’s extended fund facility

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Happy Sunday morning. We hope you had as relaxing a weekend as we did. Depending on how you see things, there are seven more weekends left in summer. Oh, and be ready for a long weekend this coming weekend as we observe the 23 July Revolution a week from today. Sahel or bust, folks, though at least one of us will be very happy to be back in Cairo after an extended break.

The International Monetary Fund has approved release to Egypt of the second, USD 1.25 bn tranche of its USD 12 bn IMF extended fund facility. The decision follows an IMF Executive Board review on Thursday. The funds should have hit state coffers by the time you read this. We dive deeper into the IMF’s statements in the Speed Round.

Egypt’s most valuable publicly traded company: We’re also very pleased to note this morning that our good friends at CIB marked another milestone last week, becoming the first company on the Egyptian Exchange to ever be worth north of EGP 100 bn. The bank’s market cap broke the EGP 100 bn barrier on Thursday. CEO Hussein Abaza told staff in an email: “It is one thing to say this is a great institution, it is another thing entirely to say it by investing hard-earned money in it. This is exactly what CIB’s shareholders just told us.” CIB hit the magic mark just days after it took home the nod as Euromoney’s Best Bank Emerging Markets bank.

State to sign non-binding agreement today on 10% raise for private-sector workers: Labor Minister Mohamed Saafan will join representatives from business associations and workers’ unions to sign a non-binding agreement today that would see private-sector employees receive a 10% raise of at least EGP 165 and at most EGP 330 a month starting July, according to Al Shorouk. Saafan will explain the details of terms and regulations for the raise in a press conference after the signing. He said last week that the agreement, which was suggested by majority Support Egypt Coalition bloc in the House of Representatives is non-binding. Instead, he’s asking businesses to do it in the spirit of corporate social responsibility. Businesses that have already given raises this year will not be asked to join the initiative, the minister said last week.

An industry association representing many bakers will discuss today the impact of the latest move in the state’s phase-out of subsidies. The Federation of Egyptian Chambers Commerce’s bakers division will talk through the ramifications of the government’s decision last week to end flour subsidies, Al Mal says. The Federation seems to be angling to have the Supply Ministry pull back from the decision. The ministry had said last Wednesday that it would be lifting flour subsidies, but would continue to provide subsidized bread to low-income consumers at EGP 0.05 per loaf through bread points.

It’s winter in July, and not just for retail sales in Canada, ladies and gentlemen. Season seven of Game of Thrones gets underway today (for those of you reading from the US and Canada) or tomorrow. OSN will be airing episode of the hit HBO show in sync with the US every Monday. The only thing that’s getting to us? Season seven will run seven episodes rather than the usual ten. Need to get caught up? HBO has released a recap video of seasons one through six (watch, runtime: 5:25) and Vox has a rundown of the last-known whereabouts of every key player.

And what could make this Sunday at the peak of summer brighter than bn’aire Elon Musk warning governors of the US states that it’s high time to start regulating artificial intelligence. Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla, warns that “powerful technology will threaten all human jobs, could even spark a war.” The Wall Street Journal has the full story (paywall).

What We’re Tracking This Week

Our friend Andre Valavanis, newly appointed co-head of investor relations at GB Auto, will contest the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Welterweight Title on Tuesday, 18 July in a WBF championship twin-bill in Cairo. Valavanis, currently the WBF Super Welterweight Champion, will “return to his natural weight class for the vacant WBF welterweight title,” the WBF notes in its promo for the bout, which will see him square off against former Tanzanian champion Omari Ramadan. The fight card will include five other title fights and one MMA bout and will take place at the Fitbox Corner in Kattameya Hills. More detail here on the event’s Facebook page.

On The Horizon

French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Egypt in the coming months, Paris’ ambassador to Cairo said in a speech on the occasion of Bastille Day last Friday (runtime 22:29). Ambassador Stéphane Romatet hit all the right notes on security cooperation and noted that France is backing Egypt’s economic reform program.

Egypt and Romania are expected to sign MoUs on investment, SMEs, agriculture, water resources and irrigation, oil and gas, and tourism, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. The agreements will be signed during meetings scheduled to take place in Bucharest on 26-28 July. The Egyptian-Romanian Business Council hopes to see Egypt’s exports to Romania grow to USD 5 bn annually within five years, up from USD 500 mn per year today, deputy president Ahmed El Sokkary said, Al Mal reports.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is heading to Khartoum at the end of the month, Sudanese ambassador to Cairo Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim said, according to Al Mal. The tête-à-tête comes as Sudanese FM Ibrahim Ghandour has been downplaying tensions between both countries. Earlier reports suggested that Sudan might reconsider its ban on imports from Egypt, but we’ve seen no action on that front yet.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The events of last weekend — particularly the attacks on tourists in Hurghada — left the talking heads with much to discuss.

On Kol Youm, Amr Adib spoke to Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed about the murder of two German tourists in Hurghada over the weekend. Rashed said the ministry has been in touch with newsrooms across the globe to update them on the latest developments in the case. He also said that there has been nothing to suggest that tour operators plan on canceling bookings (watch, runtime 9:33). Adib’s reporter on the ground in Hurghada confirmed that hotel cancellation rates have been “very low” since the incident (watch, runtime 9:25).

Adib then moved on to talk about the government’s new collaboration with private transport company Mowasalat Misr to bring WiFi-equipped buses to Cairo’s streets. The new buses, which will cost citizens around EGP 5, are part of a bid to get private car owners to opt for public transport. The UAE’s Emirates National Group is also a partner on the project, Taha said, explaining that the company hopes to deliver more than 500 buses in two years and has maintenance contracts in place to ensure that service quality remains consistent (watch here, runtime 3:20 and here runtime 2:51).

Over on Hona Al Asema, Lamees Al Hadidi learned that the government will begin issuing compensations in August to contractors under the Contractor Compensation Act.. Deputy Housing Minister Hisham Darwish told the host that the government will determine the rate of compensation on a case-by-case basis.

She then spoke to Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy on updating ration cards. (We have more in Politics + Economics but, you can watch the interviw here, runtime 31:33).

Finally, on Masaa DMC, Eman El Hosary covered the attack on a security guard at All Saint’s Church in Alexandria — the same one that was hit on 31 December, 2010 (watch, runtime 5:27).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The International Monetary Fund has approved release of the second USD 1.25 bn tranch of the USD 12 bn IMF Extended Fund Facility to Egypt, following an IMF Executive Board review on Thursday. The funds should already have hit Egypt’s coffers, according to MENA. “The continued fiscal consolidation aims to place public debt on a declining path… The main deficit-reducing measures are the increase of the VAT rate, continued reforms of energy subsidies and wage restraint,” according to an IMF statement. The board also said Egypt has made significant progress on structural reforms, noting the passing of industrial permits, investment and bankruptcy acts, which it called “critical pieces of legislation necessary to strengthen the business climate, attract investments, and promote growth.”

Top IMF officials praised the Ismail government’s economic reform program, particularly the recent cuts to fuel and electricity subsidies in addition to the 200 bps interest rate hikes, the latter of which took the nation by surprise. “The government and the central bank have taken the right measures to rein in inflation, reduce the budget deficit, and set the Egyptian economy on a path to stability and growth,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. She added that she was “very pleased that the government has taken and will continue to take measures to protect the poor and vulnerable groups, including through increasing social spending.”

“Measures taken by the Egyptian government, such as increasing the prices of fuel and electricity and imposing the value-added tax, should have a positive impact on the budget," IMF mission chief for Egypt Chris Jarvis said in statement to MENA. "Such measures help achieve initial surplus in the budget of the Egyptian government for the first time in 10 years," he added.

On inflation, Jarvis said that the key test is to make sure that high inflation doesn’t become permanent. “The actions that the central bank are taking are the right ones to achieve its inflation targets,” said Jarvis via twitter. He expects inflation to fall by the end of this calendar year and be much lower by next summer.

We would beat the drum again about interest rate hikes being a phenomenally bad idea in a nation as under-banked as Egypt, but it’s rather clear the folks at the IMF aren’t listening to us…

The news comes as the IMF appears to have lowered its growth estimate for the fiscal year that ended a couple of weeks ago, saying the economy is likely to have grown 3.5% in FY2016-17, down from an initial estimate of 4.0%. It has also revised its projection for the current fiscal year, lowering it to 4.5% from 4.8%. The IMF now also expects the budget deficit for FY2016-17 to reach 10.5% of GDP, up from a previously projected 9.8% of GDP. However, the IMF’s projections for the budget deficit in FY2017-18 would appear to be more optimistic than the government’s, with the Fund expecting it to reach 8.5% of GDP from 8.4% of GDP in its previous evaluation. The government is anticipating the deficit this fiscal year will come in at 9.1% of GDP. On inflation, the IMF’s initial estimates proved way off point, with consumer price inflation at the end of last fiscal year being revised to 32.8% from 16.6%. The fund expects inflation to drop to 10.3% at the end of FY2017-18.

Gov’t presents its figures for FY2016-17: Planning Minister Hala Saeed appeared to respond to the IMF’s macro indicators with its own forecast, seeing GDP growth for FY2016-17 landing at no less than 4% from an initial projection of 3.8-4%, she said in a press conference on Saturday, according to Reuters. She projects that GDP growth for the fourth quarter of last fiscal year will exceed 4.5%, according to Al Mal. On inflation, Saeed said that the recent subsidy cuts in fuel and electricity would have a minimal impact on inflation, the newspaper reports.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry puts the budget deficit for FY 2016-17 at 10.8% of GDP, down from 12.5% in FY2015-16, according to Vice Minister of Finance Amr El Monayer. The primary deficit also receded to 1.5% of GDP in the last fiscal year, compared to 3.5% in the year before. Tax revenues in FY2016-17 rose 30% year-on-year to EGP 433 bn, El Monayer told the press on Thursday, according to AMAY.

Meanwhile, foreign interest in Egyptian debt remains strong. Foreign holdings of Egyptian debt topped EGP 204 bn (USD 11.4 bn) as of 11 July, the last treasury sale before Thursday’s, the head of public debt at the Finance Ministry Sami Khallaf told Reuters on Thursday. Foreigners bought EGP 7.9 bn (USD 440.1 mn) during last Thursday’s auction making up 51% of buyers at that auction, Khallaf added. The average yield on the six-month bill rose to 22.28% from 21.15% at the last sale on July 6, while the yield on the one-year t-bill rose to 21.99% from 20.98%, according to data from the CBE. EGP 13 bn in treasuries will be sold at an auction today. We had noted last month that foreign direct investment (FDI) had risen 12% year-on-year in FY2016-17 to USD 6.6 bn in 9M2016-17.

On that front, Egypt was ranked second most popular destination for FDI in the Arab world in 2016, with inflows up 17% year-on-year to USD 8.1 bn, the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation says in its 150-page Investment Climate report (pdf). The Chinese have been Egypt’s top investors over the last five years, commissioning around 20 projects with a total investment value of USD 22.6 bn, the report says, citing UNCTAD figures. Top FDI earners include energy, real estate, coal, chemicals, and food industries.

IPO WATCH- It seems state-owned Banque du Caire will list no more than 20% of its shares during its upcoming initial public offering, according to comments by BdC Vice President Soha Suleiman picked up by Al Masry Al Youm. If true, the report throws cold water on previous reports, which suggested that the bank’s IPO, which will be managed by EFG Hermes and HSBC, would see up to 49% of the bank’s stock on offer, including an international offer to institutional investors of 29% and a domestic offer to retail investors on the EGX of 15%. Five percent would have been earmarked for trading as global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange.

As for the IPO of petroleum services outfit Enppi, the state is expecting to net between USD 213 mn and USD 267 mn the sale of a 24% stake, sources close to the matter tell Al Mal. The newspaper says the company will likely be valued in the EGP 16-20 bn range. A consortium led by CI Capital and including Jefferies and Emirates NBD Capital was tapped by the government to serve as lead managers and bookrunners of the listing, likely to be the first IPO of a state-owned company in 12 years. Baker McKenzie will serve as legal advisor, though it’s unclear whether the firm is counsel to the issuer or to the lead managers.

Finally, the IPOs of the four companies that will operate the Siemens power plants appear likely to be pushed to FY2018-19 from FY2017-18, the head of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company Gaber Desouky tells Al Mal. Last year, the government had announced that it was forming four companies to own the three combined cycle plants of Burullus, the new capital, and Beni Suef build under a contract handed to Siemens. The companies were supposed to be formed this month, according to Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker. Siemens, Germany’s Steiaj, an Orascom-ADERA Energy consortium, and an Elsewedy-EDF consortium have submitted their technical offers for the tender to manage the plants.

IPO WATCH- Nile Financial Leasing is planning to list 25-40% of its shares on the EGX in 4Q17, company chairman Mohamed Amer tells Al Borsa. The will use the proceeds from the offering to expand into SME leasing, Amer said. Nile Financial has yet to settle on a lead manager or bookrunner for the transaction.

EFSA issues new financial solvency regulations for brokerage houses: The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has issued new financial solvency regulations that will require securities and brokerage firms to keep cash on-hand equivalent to 10% of their total liabilities, Al Mal says. Brokerage houses will also have to electronically file a daily liquidity report to both the bourse and EFSA to replace the paper report they used to deliver on a weekly basis under the old system. The new directives were published in the Official Gazette yesterday (you can view the full issue here courtesy of Youm7).

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) is planning to use c. EGP 3 bn of excess liquidity to grow its investments in 2017, Investor Relations Director Marwan Hussein tells Al Borsa, without disclosing further detail.

Apache, Shell, and Apex among the winners of Oil Ministry’s Western Desert oil exploration tender: The Oil Ministry is expecting to sign contracts “soon” with the winners of its crude oil exploration tender in the Western Desert, Minister Tarek El Molla said, according to Youm7. Apache, Royal Dutch Shell, Apex International Energy and Merlon will together invest at least USD 160 mn and pay signature grants totaling USD 65 mn. They’all be drilling for oil in five concessions in the Western Desert, according to the minister.

Oil Ministry to launch oil exploration tenders in border with Saudi by year’s end: The ministry plans to commission more oil drilling in 2017 through Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Holding Company, El Molla said. Five international firms have already been awarded contracts to begin conducting geological surveys and initial scans along the border with Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea. The ministry plans to open the floor to exploration activities in the area — which surrounds the contentious Tiran and Sanafir islands — before the year is up, AMAY quotes El Molla saying. Among them are WesternGeco Schlumberger and TGS, whose combined investment comes close to USD 750 mn.

US companies operating in any one of the four countries boycotting Qatar could run afoul of American anti-boycott laws if they are pressured to also sever ties with Qatar, the Associated Press reports. Under obscure tax and export provisions designed decades ago to protect Israel, US companies can be punished if they accept a foreign country’s demand to comply with a boycott not supported by the United States. The provisions were established to ensure American firms aren’t used to advance another nation’s foreign policy. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have yet to demand that US companies follow their lead and boycott Qatar, the newswire notes.

Meanwhile, France is calling for the lifting of all sanctions that affect Qatari nationals, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Doha yesterday after meeting with his Qatari counterpart in their attempt at shuttle diplomacy, Reuters reports. This comes as the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Relations Anwar Al Gargash said the countries “are heading toward a long estrangement” and that crisis is “far from a political solution,” the AP reports.

Global PR outfit Weber Shandwick is withdrawing from a public relations contract with Egypt six months after signing, PR Weekly said last week. The move followed a decision by Cassidy & Associates last month to begin a management buyout from Interpublic Group — parent company of both Weber and Cassidy. Weber has reviewed its lobbying accounts on behalf of foreign governments and decided to discontinue work with the government of Egypt and all such accounts going forward, said Michele Guida, SVP of global corporate communications at the agency. The contracts which was signed back in January, stirred some controversy in the US press.

An Egyptian man attacked six tourists with a kitchen knife at two Hurghada resorts on Friday, killing two German women and injuring four others, Reuters reports. The attacker first killed the two Germans and injured two others at the Zahabia hotel, where a similar attack took place last year, before swimming to the Sunny Days El Palacio resort, where he wounded two more, the newswire reports. The German Foreign Ministry issued a statement confirming that the two tourists who were killed were German women and condemned the attack as “a criminal act of the highest degree.” The nationalities of the other victims remain unclear, with one security official telling the newswire that there were two Czechs and two Armenians, and another claiming a Russian was among those injured.

An Interior Ministry statement on Friday said the assailant had trespassed onto the resort’s property from a neighboring public beach, but sources close to the investigation tell Reuters that he bought a EGP 100 ticket to enter Zahabia’s beach. The attacker, identified as 29-year-old Abdel Rahman Shaaban, reportedly held a conversation with the two German women in fluent German before attacking them with the knife, according to the Associated Press. Shaaban reportedly told security guards at the resort that he was not looking to attack any Egyptians. There have been no claims of responsibility for the attack, “but it appeared to have been inspired by recent calls made by the local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group on its followers to attack Egypt’s minority Christians and foreign tourists.” Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordered State Security to investigate the incident, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

The Canadian government updated its a travel warning on Friday, advising its citizens to refrain from nonessential travel to Egypt and to “exercise a high degree of caution” when traveling to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.

The knife attack came as three gunmen on a motorbike opened fire at a police checkpoint in Badrasheen, killing five members of the police force on Friday, according to an Interior Ministry statement. The assailants fled when another member of the police service who was nearby opened fire on the attackers. Police forces arrested yesterday four alleged terrorists suspected of involvement in the shooting, Al Shorouk reports.

The two attacks underscore terrorists’ reduced abilities to carry out large-scale attacks in Egypt, as terror attacks against the police force target checkpoints rather than police stations, the State Information Service said in a statement (pdf). Attacks against tourists have also been limited over the past four years, the statement added.

A man also attacked a security guard at a church in Alexandria yesterday after the guard asked to inspect the contents of a backpack he was carrying into the church, AFP reports. The assailant was identified as 24-year-old Abdallah Adel Hassan via security camera footage at the church, according to Al Mal (runtime 0:45). Hassan is currently being questioned by police.

The attack came two days after Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches reportedly received instructions to halt all events outside churches for the remainder of July and August due to security concerns, the Associated Press reports. The Catholic Church “complied with the interior minister’s decision to cancel church trips and camps until further notice,” a church spokesman told Reuters. A source from the church also tells the newswire that security has been beefed up at the church gates throughout last week. These measures “point to the vulnerability of Egypt’s Christians at a time when President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government is struggling to crush an insurgency led by the extremist Islamic State,” which has vowed to target Christians in Egypt, the AP says.

Image of the Day

A mosaic floor with a Roman design was discovered by Antiquities Ministry archaeologists in the Hend area of Alexandria’s Moharam Bek district, according to a ministry statement. It is the first of its kind to be found in Egypt, Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department head Ayman Ashmawi says. Its geometric design was prominent in the Roman era and was used in baths and floors of fortresses, says Director of Middle Alexandria Antiquities Department Mohamed Farouk. Excavation work continues to uncover more parts of the floor, ahead of conducting restoration work.

Egypt in the News

The stabbing attack in Hurghada on Friday that left two German women dead and four other tourists injured is leading the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning. The attack, for which no group has claimed responsibility thus far, “came at a time when the country’s battered tourism industry, a vital source of foreign currency, was starting to see a modest revival,” the New York Times’ Declan Walsh says. The Financial Times’ Heba Saleh also noted that the attack was a “setback to Egypt’s tourism industry, which has only recently started to recover.” Bloomberg and the Associated Press also have coverage, while Deutsche Welle has a timeline of Egypt’s deadliest terror attacks, starting with the 1997 Luxor Massacre.

Why do the “decimated” Ikhwan still inspire so much fear in the Middle East that it gave rise to a diplomatic rift with Qatar? Patrick Kingsley explores the question in interviews for the New York Times with various members of the now-banned and exiled Ikhwan, who believe that the group now “has little ability to exert control over even its own members, let alone the governments of the Middle East.” With a large number of Ikhwanis in prison and others in near-permanent exile, “the Brotherhood poses few practical problems for its enemies.” Instead, its real danger is in the groups it has inspired, including Tunisia’s Ennahda and Gaza’s Hamas, both of which “retain positions of prominence” even though “the original Egyptian group has been crushed.”

Also making news this morning:

  • Over 200 Chinese Uyghur students at Al-Azhar have been detained since 4 July, allegedly over problems with their residency papers, and sent back to China. The story, which was earlier noted by Human Rights Watch, is continuing to get wide coverage in global media.
  • ‘Live from Cairo’ by American novelist Ian Bassingthwaighte is set in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and follows the life of an Iraqi refugee’s attempt to reunite with her husband in Boston, Michael Upchurch writes for The Seattle Times.

On Deadline

The nation’s columnists expectedly had terrorism and the state’s security strategy on their minds. Authorities have claimed to uncover an international conspiracy to undermine Egypt’s security, yet failed to act in accordance with this discovery, Emad El Din Hussein writes for Al Shorouk. Abbas El Tarabily takes to the pages of Al Masry Al Youm to also level criticism at the state’s military and security strategies, which he notes are entirely reactive. Meanwhile, Al Shorouk’s Hossam El Sokkary has Al Azhar on his mind, noting that the Hurghada attacker is the most terror suspect believed to have studied at the university. El Sokkary reiterates oft-repeated calls for the institution to reform its teachings to avoid breeding extremist thought.

Worth Watching

Egyptian soccer star (and national treasure) Mohamed Salah scored his first goal for Liverpool in his debut with the Premiere League team on Friday during a friendly match against Wigan (watch, runtime 1:10).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

A delegation from the Islamic Jihad group arrived in Cairo on Friday for talks with Egyptian officials about the Palestinian cause and humanitarian crisis, Maan News Agency reports. The meeting follows visits from other Palestinian factions, including Hamas, which had reached an agreement with Egypt to send fuel shipments to Gaza. The fuel shipments were temporarily halted after a terror attack on a military checkpoint in Rafah last week, causing the shutdown of Gaza’s power plant and widespread blackouts on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. Egyptian diesel shipments to Gaza resumed on Thursday, according to Hamas.

Egypt and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency are holding final talks before signing the USD 9 mn second tranche of a grant to fund the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said, according to a ministry statement.

Basic Materials + Commodities

China approves Egyptian grape exports

China approved regulations for importing Egyptian grapes which came into effect on Wednesday, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. 15 Egyptian farms and 15 distribution companies have been approved by the Chinese for exports. Egypt is also in negotiations with China to export new agricultural crops including dates, pomegranate, and onions to the Chinese market, Kabil added.

Health + Education

16 plots of land to be tendered for PPP schools in Giza

The Giza governorate will be tendering 16 plots of land to establish for the first wave of the 200 PPP schools project, Governor Kamal El Daly said on Thursday, according to Al Mal.

Automotive + Transportation

Containers transported by railway for the first time

Cargo was transported from Ain Sokhna Port to Six October by train for the first time, Transport Ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ezz said, according to Al Shorouk. The ministry plans to send two trips from Ain Al Sokhna each week and another two from the Alexandria Port to Six October and aims to transport 6 mn tonnes of cargo via rail in FY2017-18 and 25 mn tonnes by FY2021-22.

Banking + Finance

Multiples Group serves as financial advisor on two healthcare M&As

Private equity and investment advisory firm Multiples Group is serving as financial advisor for two EGP 230-300 mn M&A transactions for local and GCC funds, Founder and Managing Director Omar El Shenety said, according to Al Mal. The first is the EGP 150-200 mn acquisition of a hospital in Alexandria and the second is the EGP 80-100 mn acquisition of a group of medical centers in Cairo, El Shenety explained.

Cairo Financial Management looking to manage two government funds

Cairo Financial Management — a subsidiary of Cairo Financial Holding — will be managing two government funds soon, Director of Investments Ahmed Shalaby tells Al Borsa.

Legislation + Policy

Agriculture Ministry reviewing all its laws to amend as necessary

The Agriculture Ministry has been conducting a comprehensive review of all its laws and policies for the last two months and will be amending them as necessary, Minister Abdel Moneim El Bana told reporters on Friday, according to Al Shorouk. The ministry has already finished drafting a law that criminalizes the destruction of lakes, setting strict prison sentences of 3-7 years in prison and fines of up to EGP 5 mn. The amendments also set penalties of up two years in prison and EGP 20k in fines for illegal cotton ginning. Both laws have already been approved by the Sherif Ismail cabinet.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Window for subsidy card holders to update their data closes

The window for subsidy card holders to update their data closed yesterday, with approximately 18.2 mn of 19 mn beneficiaries meeting the deadline, Al Shorouk reports. Card holders who failed to meet yesterday’s deadline will not be eliminated from the system, and will have a chance to issue a new card, a Supply Ministry source tells the newspaper. The ministry has formed a committee to handle individual cases where citizens did not update their data by the deadline but are deserving beneficiaries, Al Mal reports. As of the beginning of August, card holders will be allowed to add newborns to their family data, according to Al Shorouk.

On Your Way Out

The Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) launched a new campaign last month on TripAdvisor targeting visitors from the UK, Italy, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, TDA head Hisham El Demery said in a statement (pdf). The campaign, which markets Egyptian tourist destinations, will run until December, after expanding in September to cover the Ukraine, India, and the US. El Demery noted that Hurghada ranks second on TripAdvisor’s most popular Middle East destinations.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.8722 | Sell 17.9693

EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.9 | Sell 18

EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.82 | Sell 17.92

EGX30 (Thursday): 13,823 (+1.0%)
Turnover: EGP 941 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: 12.0%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 1.0%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.8%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Egyptian Resorts up 5.7%, Porto Group up 5.4%, and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology up 2.8%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were: Orascom Construction down 1.6%, Qalaa Holdings down 1.0%, and EFG Hermes down 0.7%. The market turnover was EGP 941 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +19.8 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +19.0 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -38.8 mn

Retail: 64.8% of total trades | 63.9% of buyers | 65.7% of sellers
Institutions: 35.2% of total trades | 36.1% of buyers | 34.3% of sellers

Foreign: 20.0% of total | 21.0% of buyers | 18.9% of sellers
Regional: 7.3% of total | 8.3% of buyers | 6,3% of sellers
Domestic: 72.7% of total | 70.7% of buyers | 74.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 46.54 (+1.00%)
Brent: USD 48.91 (+1.01%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.98 MMBtu, (+0.64%, August 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,227.50 / troy ounce (+0.84%)

TASI: 7,313.42 (+0.09%) (YTD: +1.43%)
ADX: 4,518.07 (+2.46%) (YTD: -0.62%)
DFM: 3,537.42 (+1.23%) (YTD: +0.19%)
KSE Weighted Index: 404.62 (-0.08%) (YTD: +6.45%)
QE: 9,469.93 (+2.04%) (YTD: -9.26%)
MSM: 5,121.38 (-0.94%) (YTD: -11.44%)
BB: 1,317.38 (+0.02%) (YTD: +7.94%)

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Calendar

13-15 July (Thursday-Saturday): AGRENA’s 19th Annual Poultry, Livestock, and Fish show, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

15-19 July (Saturday-Wednesday): SSIGE’s GeoMEast 2017 International Congress and Exhibition, Sharm El Sheikh.

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day, national holiday.

03-05 August (Thursday-Saturday): Watrex Expo Middle East, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Center.

17 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

26 August (Saturday): 27th Egyptian-Jordanian Joint Higher Committee meeting, Amman Jordan. (TBC).

02-05 September (Saturday-Tuesday): Eid Al-Adha, national holiday (TBC).

13 September (Wednesday): EIB MED Conference: Boosting investments in the Mediterranean Region, Cairo.

13-16 September (Wednesday-Saturday): Cairo Fashion & Tex exhibition, Cairo International Conference Center

17-19 September (Sunday-Tuesday): Pipeline-Pipe-Sewer-Technology Conference & Exhibition, Intercontinental Citystars Hotel, Cairo.

18-19 September (Monday-Tuesday): Euromoney Egypt conference, venue TBD.

20-23 September (Wednesday-Saturday): 2017 Automech Formula car expo, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

22 September (Friday): Islamic New Year, national holiday (TBC).

25-27 September (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Downstream Summit and Exhibition, Kempinski Royal Maxim Palace, Cairo.

23-25 September (Saturday-Monday): Invest In Africa Conference and Exhibitors Summit, Gala Theater Complex, Cairo.

28 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

03-05 October (Tuesday-Thursday): J.P. Morgan’s Credit and Equities Emerging Markets Conference, London, UK.

18-19 October (Wednesday-Thursday): Middle East Info Security Summit, Sofitel El Gezirah, Cairo.

06 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

11-12 October (Wednesday-Thursday): 2030 Mega Projects Conference, Nefertiti Hall, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

11-13 October (Wednesday-Friday): Middle East and Africa Rail Show, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

18-20 October (Wednesday-Friday): AfriLabs annual gathering with the theme “Smart Cities,” The French University, Cairo. Register here.

16 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

01 December (Friday): Prophet’s Birthday, national holiday.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Solar-Tec, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Electrix, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

08-10 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

28 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

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